After careful debate, you’ve decided it’s time to get an aquarium for your house! You buy the tank, get the fish…only for them to grow sick and die in a week. The fact of the matter is that if you start an aquarium without proper knowledge about maintenance and tank size, you risk ending up with this fate over and over.
So what can you do to break the cycle?
Well, we’re glad you asked. With this guide on how to start an aquarium from scratch, you’ll have a top-tier aquarium going in no time!
But enough talk! Let’s dive (pun intended) into this thing!
Assemble Your Equipment
The first thing you’ll want to do when starting an aquarium from home is to put together the tools you need to make the aquarium shine. First, find a quality tank that offers about 20 gallons of water space per fish you want to include (even with smaller fish like goldfish or the neon tetra, who consume more tank space as they grow to adulthood). While it will cost you more, more tank space allows you a greater margin of error when it comes to tasks like cleaning the tank.
You’ll also need to find a tank filter that cycles all the water within the tank around multiple times an hour. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to go for a bigger filter than you think you need. You’ll also want a heater and thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water, and a substrate to put healthy bacteria into the water for the fish.
Location is Important
You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper space to place your aquarium. You’ll want to place the tank somewhere that can support its weight and keep the tank level. You should also keep tanks away from doors and windows, as areas more prone to sudden temperature changes can harm the fish.
Finally, make sure you leave enough space between the tank and the wall to fit the filter and other accessories.
Choosing the Right Fish
Whether you want the vibrant yellow tang or the speedy minnow, you’ll also need to put careful consideration into what kind of fish you get. For example, you don’t want to mix freshwater and saltwater fish, as one cannot survive in the other’s environment. You’ll also want to make sure you’re not putting types of fish together who will fight or eat one another.
Certain fish also require different levels of maintenance to keep healthy. If you’re starting out, it helps to pick a low-maintenance fish and upgrade as you get more comfortable.
Aquarium Setup and Maintenance
Once you’ve got everything assembled, it’s time to put your aquarium together! You’ll want to rinse off all gravel or decorations you plan to put in the tank with warm water before they go in. After that, fill the tank 1/3 of the way with room-temperature water and hook up your filter, heater, thermometer, and any other attachments/decorations you have.
Once that’s done, you can fill up the tank the rest of the way. Wait 1-2 days before you put your fish in to make sure the tank is clean and that the water temperature stays consistent. After that, make sure to check the filter often and keep the water clean.
Now Go Start an Aquarium Yourself
And there you have it! Now that you have this guide on how to start an aquarium from scratch, you’re ready to craft the aquarium of your dreams! And for more tips about keeping your aquarium in tip-top shape and handling tank-residing animals, check out the other posts on our blog!